Fern – “Combat”
On Rachel Fowlie-Neufeld’s (Fern) 2014 EP Strange Fingerprints, she crafts melancholic folk songs that are made for your sadness. Her latest release “Combat” is along the same lines but much richer version. Highlighted by a dreamy pedal steel, Fern continues her promising folk stylings.
– Laura Stanley
Folly & The Hunter – “Awake”
“Awake” is not for the impatient. It’s a slower burner, thick with guitars and keys, that only breaks loose at certain drum sections. Even the verbose opening line “we become a cult of inertia” demands your full attention. As the song builds so too does its energy and hopeful spirit – a perfect anthem for late night summer drives.
Crystal Castles – “Frail”
If you defray, you end up prey. Glow through the veil. Is this what you call frail?
And with these words, Crystal Castles is back.
Though there was the notion that the experimental electro outfit would discontinue following singer Alice Glass’ abrupt departure last October, Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath clearly had other ideas. While Glass walked away from the spotlight, Kath managed to fool us all by continuing to toil away on new material in complete secrecy. And last week he posted a brand new Crystal Castles track on Soundcloud via Facebook – the band’s first release since 2012’s III album. While the emergence of the track, “Frail”, was in itself a surprise, many were also taken aback by Kath’s accompanying statement on Facebook – a statement in which he claimed Glass didn’t appear on many of the band’s best known songs (“Crimewave,” “Untrust Us,” among others).
Kath has since deleted the shot taken at his former singer, instead saying that he wants to “let the music do the talking”. And talk “Frail” does. Loud and clear. The song is typical Crystal Castles through and through – and the fact that Glass’ absence is barely noticeable speaks volumes. (The vocals on “Frail” come courtesy of Edith. Although the identity of “Edith” has yet to be revealed, I can confirm that the new singer for Crystal Castles is, in fact, not a baby – as some have idiotically opined).
“Frail” is dystopian, heavy metal with synths – a song that is equally adept to aid in going to war to as well as having sex to. It does little to dispel my summation that Crystal Castles are to electronic music what Wagner was to classical music – undertones of beauty within disciplined aggression. Though Crystal Castles has been silent for three years, this new song has made the long wait somewhat palatable.
– Christian Patrick
Tough Age – “Snakes & Ladders”
Right off the bat, there’s so much to love about Tough Age’s “Snakes & Ladders” that you have to play it five or six times in a row just to absorb it all. The energetic burst of rockin’ fuzz that begins the song, never falters. Paired with a melodious falsetto from Jarrett K (Apollo Ghosts), “Snakes & Ladders” is a combo of punk and psych-pop that leaves you wanting to both rock out and laze around in the sun. Either way we owls are very excited about their forthcoming record I Get The Feeling Central due out June 23rd via Mint Records.
Run Deer Run – “Alexa’s Song”
For a band that describes themselves as “indie-rock,” there’s a surprising amount of soul that fills “Alexa’s Song.” In the preview of the Calgary duo’s debut album The War, a layered and moody sounding arrangement elevates Laura Halvorsen’s vocals to impressive heights.